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A Report from birdtours.co.uk

Parga, Greece 3-17 May 2003,

Dave & Lin Oulsnam

This was our 1st visit to the Greek mainland although we had previously visited Lesvos (twice) & Crete.

Travelling with Libra Holidays, we stayed at Nicki Studios, Parga. This accommodation was extremely clean & a superb base for the holiday (the only reservation I would have in recommending this to others would be the very steep access drive makes it unsuitable for anyone with walking difficulties, but for others the views from the studios make the effort worthwhile). The weather was hot (39C generally), above the norm for this time of year & dry throughout the holiday.

Parga was a picturesque town with plenty of tavernas & restaurants. Boats from the harbour serviced Paxos & Antipaxos and other local beaches. Walks through the olive groves led both East & West following the coast but the nearest wetland, Morfi Marsh, was about 10 km to the East.

A car was hired for 11 days at extremely reasonable cost locally from Euroclub. The Seat Marbella had a manual choke! a radio & speaker lodged (not fitted) in the parcel shelf, so it had character but did have good ground clearance for use on tracks. During this period we covered approximately 2,000 miles.

Birds

    1. Little Grebe,††† Seen occasionally, sometimes in large numbers e.g 20+ at Morfi Marsh. Also Palaigkastro pool & Ioanina Lake
    2. Great Crested Grebe,††† Large numbers, most had young, Ioanina Lake
    3. Cormorant, Amvrakikos Wetland
    4. White Pelican, 2 Amvrakikos Wetland
    5. Dalmatian Pelican,††† 20+ Amvrakikos Wetland. Also Kestrini.
    6. Little Bittern,††† Single at Ammoudia
    7. Night Heron,†† Up to 6, Morfi marsh
    8. Squacco Heron,††† 4 at Morfi Marsh, 2 at Amvrakikos Wetland, 5 at Sagiada
    9. Little Egret, Common in all wetland areas
    10. Great White Egret, 2 at Sagiada, 1 at Morfi Marsh
    11. Grey Heron,††† Common in all wetland areas
    12. Purple Heron,† Regularly seen. 2 at Morfi Marsh, 3 at Sagiada, Ammoudia
    13. Black Stork,††† Single over Meteora
    14. White Stork,††† Frequently seen around the region, often nesting on telegraph poles in villages. Also Morfi Marsh, 3 at Palaigkastro pool, 2 at Krystallopigi, Ammoudia†
    15. Glossy Ibis, Groups up to 8 seen at Igoumenitsa, Sagiada & Kestrini
    16. Spoonbill,†† Single at Sagiada
    17. Greater Flamingo,† Single at Kestrini
    18. Mute Swan, Single at Morfi Marsh, Amvrakikos Wetland & Ioanina Lake
    19. Mallard,† Common in small numbers, 4 at Morfi Marsh, Amvrakikos Wetland
    20. Garganey,†† 2 drakes at Sagiada
    21. Ferruginous Duck, Pair at Ioanina Lake
    22. Tufted Duck,†† Ioanina Lake
    23. Honey Buzzard, Single East of Lychnos
    24. Griffon Vulture,† 8 over Souli villages road
    25. Marsh Harrier, All females. 3 at Amvrakikos Wetland, Ioanina Lake, Palaigkastro pool
    26. Sparrowhawk, Parga, mobbing Hooded Crow. Acheron Springs
    27. Common Buzzard, With Kestrel probably the commonest raptor
    28. Booted Eagle,† Meteora
    29. Common Kestrel,† With Buzzard probably the commonest raptor. Acheron Springs, Road to Souli Villages, Meteora
    30. Peregrine Falcon,†† Single, Acheron Springs
    31. Moorhen,†† Morfi Marsh
    32. Coot,, Morfi Marsh
    33. Oystercatcher, Amvrakikos Wetland, Igoumenitsa
    34. Black-winged Stilt,†† Amvrakikos Wetland, Sagiada,
    35. Collared Pratincole,† 4 at Sagiada
    36. Black-winged Pratincole,†† 2 at Amvrakikos Wetland
    37. Little Ringed Plover, Ammoudia
    38. Kentish Plover, Amvrakikos Wetland, Kestrini, Sagiada
    39. Golden Plover, Amvrakikos Wetland
    40. Grey Plover,††† Amvrakikos Wetland, 7 at Sagiada, Kestrini
    41. Sanderling, 4 at Amvrakikos Wetland
    42. Little Stint,† The 2nd most numerous wader. Amvrakikos Wetland, Kestrini, Sagiada.
    43. Curlew Sandpiper† ,† The most numerous wader, many in breeding plumage. Amvrakikos Wetland, Kestrini, Sagiada.
    44. Dunlin, Amvrakikos Wetland
    45. Ruff,† c50 at Sagiada, Amvrakikos Wetland
    46. Curlew,†† Single at Amvrakikos Wetland, 11 at Sagiada
    47. Common Redshank, Single at Amvrakikos Wetland
    48. Wood Sandpiper,† 2 Morfi marsh
    49. Terek Sandpiper, Single at Amvrakikos Wetland
    50. Turnstone,† Amvrakikos Wetland, Kestrini
    51. Black-headed Gull,†† Ioanina Lake, Sagiada
    52. Slender-billed Gull,†† Single at Amvrakikos Wetland
    53. Yellow-legged Gull,† Common
    54. Sandwich Tern 8 at Amvrakikos Wetland
    55. Common Tern, Amvrakikos Wetland
    56. Little Tern,† Common around Amvrakikos Wetland. Also Sagiada
    57. Whiskered Tern,††† c30 at Sagiada, single at Morfi Marsh & 2 at Palaigkastro pool
    58. Black Tern, Single at Amvrakikos Wetland
    59. White-winged Black Tern, c60 at Sagiada, single at Palaigkastro pool
    60. Collared Dove, Common, Parga
    61. Turtle Dove,††† Common
    62. Cuckoo,† I/d by call only, Morfi Marsh
    63. Common Swift Common. Parga
    64. Alpine Swift,††† Common. Parga, Ammoudia
    65. Roller, Singles seen on 2 occasions, Ammoudia
    66. Great Spotted Woodpecker Single, Vikos Gorge
    67. Short-toed Lark,†† Pair at Amvrakikos Wetland, Kestrini
    68. Crested Lark,† Ammoudia, Kestrini
    69. Sand Martin,†† Ammoudia
    70. Crag Martin,††† Meteora
    71. Swallow, Common. Parga,
    72. Red-rumped Swallow†† Common in small numbers. Parga
    73. House Martin, Parga, Ammoudia
    74. Tawny Pipit,††† Ammoudia, Souli villages road
    75. Yellow Wagtail Kestrini, Amvrakikos Wetland, Sagiada
    76. Grey Wagtail,† Acheron Springs
    77. Pied Wagtail,†† Parga, Ammoudia
    78. Dipper,††† Acheron Springs
    79. Nightingale, Common, but i/d from song only. Amvrakikos Wetland, Kestrini, Ioanina Lake
    80. Stonechat,† Ammoudia. Road to Souli villages
    81. Black-eared Wheatear, Amvrakikos Wetland, Road to Souli Villages
    82. Blue Rock Thrush, Anthoussa Castle
    83. Blackbird,† Common
    84. Cetti's Warbler Common, frequently heard singing seen occasionally at Krystallopigi, Kestrini, Igoumenitsa
    85. Fan-tailed Warbler,† Ammoudia
    86. Reed Warbler, Ammoudia & Amvrakikos Wetland
    87. Great Reed Warbler Amvrakikos Wetland & Ioanina Lake
    88. Olivaceous Warbler, Ammoudia, Kestrini
    89. Subalpine Warbler,†† Parga, Igoumenitsa, Meteora, Amvrakikos Wetland
    90. Sardinian Warbler, Parga
    91. Chiffchaff,†† Heard on 2 occasion on road East of Ioanina
    92. Spotted Flycatcher,† Parga
    93. Bearded Tit,††† 2 Amvrakikos Wetland, i/d by sight & "ping"
    94. Blue Tit,† Common, Parga.
    95. Great Tit, Common, Parga
    96. Western Rock Nuthatch
    97. Treecreeper species, Parga. Unable to distinguish whether Common or Short-toed
    98. Penduline Tit, Kestrini & Sagiada
    99. Red-backed Shrike, Sagiada. Mountains East of Metsovo, Kestrini
    100. Lesser Grey Shrike,† Sagiada
    101. Woodchat Shrike, The most common shrike in lowland areas. 4 at Amvrakikos Wetland, Ammoudia, Palaigkastro pool
    102. Jay,†† Common in most woodland/olive groves, Parga
    103. Magpie, Common
    104. Jackdaw, Morfi Marsh
    105. Hooded Crow, Common
    106. Raven, Vikos Gorge
    107. House Sparrow,††† Common, Parga,
    108. Spanish Sparrow,† Amvrakikos Wetland, Palaigkastro pool
    109. Chaffinch,†† Common in small numbers. Parga
    110. Serin, Mountains East of Metsovo
    111. Greenfinch, Parga
    112. Goldfinch,†† Common, Parga
    113. Linnet, Singles at Parga & Road to Souli villages
    114. Yellowhammer Single in alpine pasture East of Metsovo
    115. Cirl Bunting,††† Single, Vikos Gorge
    116. 116.    Black-headed Bunting, Amvrakikos Wetlandł Palaigkastro pool
    117. 117.    Corn Bunting,† Common. Ammoudia

Bold Italics denote lifers

Other wildlife

3 Red Foxes.

Numerous tortoises, one walking along the white line on the main Ioanina to Metsovo road.

Hedgehogs are apparently common based on the number of road casualties

3 Coypu in Sagiada

Many butterflies including Swallowtail, Scarce Swallowtail, Balkan Marbled White & many others not identified. Fireflies at the edge of the olive groves at night.

Plants

Narcissi, Grape Hyacinths & Hellebores in the upland meadows

Cotinus & Cistus in the Parga & Acheron areas

Thanks go to John Jennings for the information & guidance contained in his report of an earlier visit to the area available at http://www.birdtours.co.uk/tripreports/Greece/mainland3/greece-sept02.htm† which was extremely useful.

Dave & Lin Oulsnam

 

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